Linked Questions

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Authenticity of some personal stories in Gemmorah [duplicate]

The Gemmorah in Bavli Kiddushin 81a brings several similar stories: .ר' עקיבא הוה מתלוצץ בעוברי עבירה .יומא חד אידמי ליה שטן כאיתתא בריש דיקלא .נקטיה לדיקלא וקסליק ואזיל 'כי מטא לפלגיה דדיקלא ...
28
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9answers
4k views

Sheidim: are they fact, or fiction?

Are there really such thing as sheidim? If so, what are they? Please include sources.
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8answers
2k views

Does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?

Does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?
30
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8answers
15k views

Why is the Jewish Population so small?

Judaism is one of the oldest religions, but there aren't many Jews compared to Muslims and Christians. What are main reasons behind that?
16
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7answers
4k views

40 Days Before Conception

It is written somewhere (I don't remember exactly where) that 40 days before conception, it is called out in Heaven who that person will marry. However, if the person gets married multiple times how ...
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5answers
2k views

What does "to confuse the Satan" mean and why does it work?

There are several things we don't do in order "to confuse the Satan", like not blowing Shofar on Erev Rosh Hashana. How does it help? Does Satan not realize that Rosh Hashana didn't pass yet? He ...
17
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7answers
1k views

How did the moon shrink?

The Bavli, Chulin 60:2, says (in my own loose translation): Rabbi Shim'on ben Pazi noted a contradiction: [B'reshis 1:16] says, "God made the two big luminaries" and "the big luminary… ...
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6answers
4k views

Is it possible that Judaism would one day allow eating pork?

As far as I understand, pork was originally banned from consumption since it was hard to maintain a clean enviroment for pigs in a desert climate (as summarized in the Wikipedia). Since nowadays ...
14
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6answers
705 views

Why didn't Yosef's brothers recognize him?

The Posuk says (Genesis 42:8): וַיַּכֵּר יוֹסֵף אֶת אֶחָיו וְהֵם לֹא הִכִּרֻהוּ Translated as: Now Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him The question is: How did they ...
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3answers
3k views

On killing (?) Christians in Judaism

I'm an Israeli Jew and for a few days I'm in an ongoing online argument with this Swedish white-nationalist who tries to prove me that blood libels are not completely made-up. He gave me the next two ...
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7answers
870 views

Does the Zodiac really have influence on our lives?

Ancient thought, even among the rabbis of the Talmud, was that the Zodiac controlled certain Earthly events. In Hebrew, the signs of the Zodiac are מזלות, now known as "luck". For example, in Shabbat ...
8
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8answers
841 views

Why was Akeidas Yitzchok a bigger test (Nisayon) for Avraham than for Yitzchok?

Akeidas Yitzchok was the hardest test that Hashem gave to Avraham. Yet Yitzchok knew and also agreed to go along with it. Then why is it considered a bigger test for Avraham than for Yitzchok?
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2answers
2k views

Historically, were women trained for obligatory wars? Or did they serve some other military function?

Sotah 8:7 says that for obligatory wars all go out to fight, "even a bridegroom from his chamber and a bride from her canopy". Historically, was this in fact our practice? Did women participate in ...
6
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10answers
804 views

The Plague of Darkness

This is a two fold question 1)The plaque of darkness has considerable commentary, however I have yet to find a rabbi who speaks about what created the darkness. Therefore, What created the darkness ...
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3answers
4k views

Did Adam have intercourse with animals?

Yebamoth 63a states that Adam had intercourse with animals: א"ר אלעזר מאי דכתיב (בראשית ב, כג) זאת הפעם עצם מעצמי ובשר מבשרי מלמד שבא אדם על כל בהמה וחיה ולא נתקררה דעתו עד שבא על חוה And Rabbi ...
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5answers
426 views

Who wrote the verse near the end of the story about Mahn in Shmot 16:35?

I am aware that the Talmud discusses a debate as to who wrote the last few verses in the Torah about Moses's death. Near the end of the story about mahn, in Shmot (Exodus) 16:35, the verse says that ...
9
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6answers
471 views

The curse of cannibalism

In parshas Ki Tavo there is much talk in the curse section about parents eating their own children, G-d forbid. We understand this came into fruition in the time of the first Temple's destruction. ...
9
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4answers
532 views

How do Rishonim argue on Drashos Chazal?

There is a known rule that Rishonim cannot argue on the Gemara when it comes to "Halachic" drashos. For example, a Rishon will never give a different answer to a question which the Gemara already ...
15
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3answers
4k views

Do Jews pray to deceased forefathers?

Shalom, I would like to know if Jews consider it acceptable to pray to deceased ancestors, forefathers, or "saints" like some Christians in the Catholic tradition do. Deuteronomy 18:11 would seem to ...
5
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2answers
807 views

What age were Leah and Rachel when they got married

Do we know what age Leah and Rachel were when yakove married them? If yes what is it? Source please. Are there any midrashim on the subject?
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4answers
566 views

Is Gematria accepted by all?

It is widely accepted that each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a Gematria (numerical value) attached to it. These numerical values often provide insight when comparing one Gematria to either ...
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2answers
754 views

Me'or Einayim-The Maharal

What was the reason that the Me'or Einayim by Azariah deRossi's was considered problematic and what is its Historical development and signifigance of this book Basicly what was all the fuss about?
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5answers
319 views

Torah view on conservation and recycling

It may seem obvious that we should 'look after' the world that Hashem gives us but is it considered a mitzvah to involve oneself in nature conservation and/or recycling?
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2answers
348 views

Why not send a substitute for Benyamin (sources)?

Why did the brothers, or Yaakov, not send a substitute for Benyamin when Pharaoh demanded that the family produce him? Surely there were young men about his age who were quite familiar with the ...
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5answers
527 views

Why was Yishmael saved?

In bereshis 21:17 it says And G-d heard the lad's voice, and an angel of G-d called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, "What is troubling you, Hagar? Fear not, for G-d has heard the lad's voice ...
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2answers
3k views

So what happens to Judaism if Moshiach doesn't come by the year 6000?

Since it says in the Talmud that Moshiach has to come by the year 6000, so what happens to Judaism if Moshiach doesn't come by the year 6000. The year 6000 view comes from the Babylonian Talmud, ...
4
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2answers
274 views

Is it really kosher to "apply" to become a gentile king's wife?

Near the beginning of the Purim story, Esther lives in King Achashverosh's harem and "applies" to be queen by spending the night with him. What do our interpretations say about why she did this and ...
5
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4answers
424 views

Etymology of מחילה

I am looking for a possible etymological root for the word מחילה as meaning forgiveness. The word מחל does not appear in Tanach1, and neither does מחילה, nor does מוחל, and I was unable to find any ...
3
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3answers
673 views

Can a convert eat fish and meat together?

I have heard many times the principle of "nishtanu hatevayim" applied to things that have medically or physically have changed from the time of the Talmud many years ago. does this apply to ...
10
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2answers
1k views

As an atheist, what awaits me after death?

I'm putting together a Pascal's wager piece of sorts, and wanted to see what modern religions think atheists deserve. So if Judaism pans out to be the one true religion, what'll happen to me (an ...
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2answers
3k views

Do you need 2 microwaves?

Is a person allowed to use the same microwave for meat and milk? What about meat and fish?
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1answer
2k views

Why does Nero convert to Judaism in folio 56a in tractate Gittin in the Babylon Talmud?

In the Gittin tractate, folio 56a (focusing on the destruction of Jerusalem), it briefly mentions Nero: "He [the Emperor] sent against them Nero the Caesar. As he was coming he shot an arrow ...
2
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2answers
532 views

How does the midrash know that the Jews had to be awakened for the giving of the Torah?

Considering the pretty obvious excitement, written in the Torah itself, that B'nai Yisra'el had about receiving the Torah, it seems contradictory that they would be sleeping on the day the Torah was ...
5
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2answers
459 views

Why did the angels object to the Torah being given to Moshe – what did the angels think?

The well-known Gemoro Shabbos 88b reports the angels protesting against HKB”H giving the Torah to Israel. HKB”H tells Moshe to answer the angels and Moshe shows that the Torah is only applicable to ...
5
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2answers
318 views

Were Esav, Yishmael, and Nimrod Evildoers?

This question asserts that Ishmael was an evildoer (rasha). However, based on a simple (p'shat) reading of the relevant texts (in Genesis), neither he nor Esau nor Nimrod appear to do anything "evil."...
6
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2answers
375 views

Yocheved is the daughter of who?

So Yocheved, as it is known, is the wife of Amram, mother of Moshe Rabbeinu, Aharon HaCohen, and Miriam the prophetess, peace be on them. And Yocheved, like Amram, is from the Tribe of Levi. Amram is ...
2
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4answers
218 views

Midrash About the Kohen Gadol Seeing God as a Man

If G-D Has no physical form why midrash which say Kohen Gadol saw G-D as an old man while the Kohen Gadol went into the kodesh hakadashim I saw this in the midrash says and I don't know the exact ...
3
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2answers
312 views

Is the Oral Law mainly of Divine origin or is it largely influenced by the rabbis/cultures of the time?

Do we now dismiss parts of the Oral Torah as incorrect? For example scientific statements in the Talmud are nowadays largely ignored (things like flies moving the air around/lice coming from nowhere)....
3
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1answer
283 views

Is Solomon wiser than Moshiach?

I read in Chapter 3, verses 11-12 of the Book of Kings (which I think is in the Nevi'im) the following: And God said to him, "Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked for yourself long ...
3
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2answers
170 views

Record of Disputation of Paris

Is the record of the disputation of Paris that took place in 1240, I believe called sefer havikuach, available for free online?
8
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1answer
124 views

Noach and the Birds

Why is it that Noach sent out the birds to see if the flood had subsided, and when he did find out he just waited for Hashem to tell him to leave? Why send the birds if you are going to wait for ...
5
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1answer
157 views

How do different scholars define "aggadah"?

It is common to conceive of Shas (Bavli and Yerushalmi) as being an admixture of halakha and aggadah, and I've no doubt that people have differed from one another on the precise delineations of each. ...
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1answer
480 views

How true is Sefer HaYashar?

Inspired by comments on this question: How true is Sefer HaYashar? Note: This is not the Sefer written by Rabbeinu Tam, but rather the "midrash" that goes through in detail the chronology from the ...
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1answer
160 views

How did Achashverosh not think that Mordechai would be disturbed by the decree to kill all the Jews?

In the book of Ester (6:1), Achashverosh can't sleep and asks to bring the book of records to him. Rashi says that the reason why is in case he was done a favor by someone and didn't repay it and that ...
5
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2answers
218 views

How could Zimri be Shelumiel?

After mulling over this question for a bit, I realized that there's a big problem with that Gemara quoted there. Shelumiel is listed back in Bamidbar 1, before the sin of the Meraglim. By the time the ...
1
vote
1answer
638 views

Why Pinchas = Eliyahu?

The Midrash says that Pinchas and Eliyahu are the same person. According to most of the Rishonim, I believe, this (as any other Midrash) should not be taken literally. Which are some of the non-...
1
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1answer
137 views

After the Philistines caught Shimshon, is it true they used to bring their wives to him for sex?

And the Philistines seized him, and gouged out his eyes. And they brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with copper chains, and he did grind in the prison house. כאוַיֹּאחֲזוּהוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים ...
4
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2answers
290 views

Must we consider the gemara's conclusions literally true?

I have in mind gemaras such as Yoma 54b, which says, according to the interpretation of one of my rabbis, that the Even haShetiya -- the stone found under what is now the Dome of the Rock -- was the ...
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2answers
269 views

Can one keep all possible Halachot and still be a heretic?

If there's a person who, for example's sake, keeps all Halachot applicable to him or her, can they do or believe in anything that would be considered heresy? What brought this question on was a ...
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2answers
238 views

Origin of אין משיבין על ההגדה

What is the original source for the phrase: "אין משיבין על ההגדה" (or: "אין משיבין באגדה", "אין משיבין על דברי אגדה" etc. - which I believe is generally used to mean that it is inappropriate to derive ...

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